Interview – Barnabas Toth – ‘Chuchotage’ – A Short Film

To begin with, tell us about your latest film ‘Chuchotage’…

Chuchotage is a 16 minute short film about two conference interpreters in the Hungarian booth, who find out that only one person is listening to their channel. And since it’s a gorgeous lady, they vie for her attention. It’s a bit like this year’s Danish hit movie “The Guilty”, in a short romantic comedy version.

Where did the idea come from? How did you get involved with the film?

I did this job one time in my life, for one day, and it was a nightmare. Fortunately only a gentleman from Luxembourg was listening to my French- channel. At the end of the day I excused myself, I was so poor in this job. It was 20 years ago but last year when I saw a call for a short film script contest, I entered with this idea and won a small budget to produce it with Laokoon Filmgroup.

Tell us about the cast, who is starring?

One of the interpreters is Pál Göttinger, who is a director in a theatre, but also a very intelligent and fine actor, the other is András Takács who is also an excellent comedian. The chemistry was amazing between them; they are longtime buddies in real life. The female lead is Andrea Osvart who is a former model and now a film star in Hungary as well as in Italy. She also has some Hollywood experience.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

A lot, would really be exhausting to list my influences, I’ve been a film buff since 5, I started with Chaplin but right now I’m amazed by darker masters like David Fincher or the late Clint Eastwoods. Also Danny Boyle is a master of storytelling through images and music.

Were there any significant issues throughout the films production? How did you overcome these difficulties?

Short time – always an issue. We had two days so we had to plan really carefully all shots taken by the 2 cameras. 70 extras in a large room, lot of dialogue in several languages, continuity and paste of different text versions and lastly make the whole picture interesting to watch – since there is not much action. But the DOP, András Szőke Másik and the editor, Gyula Hegedűs did a great job, not to mention László Pirisi with his wonderful and subtle music.

What advice would you give any up-and-coming filmmakers, trying to crack the industry?

Be very strict about your own material: shorten your script and shoot only the necessary scenes. A short film has to be short. Focus on the story, the emotions and the actors. And be very, very patient. Success is 20% luck, 20% talent and 60% of long and hard work. Especially for the writing, the money collecting and the distribution/festival phase.

When and where can we expect to see ‘Chuchotage’?

Chuchotage is online until 14th of January, easy to find through Facebook or vimeo. After that we’ll see, depending the market potential. After some time all of my works land on

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other films or projects in production?

Yes, I just finished post-production on Someone to live for, my second feature, it’s a wonderful human story, set in 1949 Budapest, the complicated relation between a 42 year old doctor and a 16 year old girl, who both lost everyone in the war.